There are numerous platforms for online marketers to choose from, but not all of them are created equal. Choosing an online marketing platform requires careful consideration of both your needs and the environment you plan to operate in. Below we’ll identify top considerations that may help you make the right decision when choosing an online marketing platform.
An essential component to any good platform is the features available to be used by the marketers who will use it. In addition to offering the basic marketing functions that one expects, many platforms also have additional features that can be very beneficial for online marketers. For example, Google Analytics provides invaluable information about website traffic and allows for better SEO, content analysis, and reporting. HubSpot has a lot of functionality that can be integrated with other applications including Mailchimp, Salesforce, and other popular platforms.
Other features that are beneficial for online marketers include:
- Customer engagement: Many platforms offer marketing analytics which track the success of your campaigns and allow you to engage with your audience through various methods.
- Bid management: If you want to set up automated bidding on specific keywords or phrases, many platforms make this easy. Campaigns are simply defined and managed through an interface.
- Multi-lingual capabilities: If you’re a marketer who works with content in different languages, many platforms offer tools that can be integrated with other applications to make translating content easier. For example, Google Translate allows for quick translations directly within the search results.
- Personalized content: Depending on your needs and what kind of content you create, some platforms may offer additional tools that make the creation and management of personalized content easier. For example, Bluehost offers tools to make creating websites as easy as possible. The platform can be integrated with WordPress to create unique designs and content with just a few clicks.
- Advanced reporting: You’ll need a good analytical tool to effectively track the performance of your campaigns. Many platforms, such as Google Analytics, provide advanced reporting capabilities that can be accessed through simple to-use interfaces.
- Segmentation: For any marketer, segmentation and targeting is a must. Many platforms, such as HubSpot, provide advanced segmentation capabilities that can be accessed through an intuitive UI.
- Geotargeting: In today’s world, location is more important than ever before. If you’re a marketer who specializes in digital marketing or marketing automation, you’ll want to take advantage of the platform’s geo-targeting functionality.
- Tracking traffic sources: If you’re a marketer who needs to know the traffic sources that drive engagement, many platforms offer the ability to track these sources. For example, you can see in Google Analytics which pages on your site attract the most visits and clicks.
- Web analytics: To effectively track the performance of your website or blog, you’ll need a tool that can provide you with vital data about your visitors. Many platforms, such as Google Analytics, provide this functionality.
- Offline functionality: If you have certain requirements for your marketing offline, such as billboards or magazine spreads, many platforms provide the tools to make these tasks easier. For example, HubSpot can integrate with various map services to display relevant information about your target audience.
- Mobile responsiveness: Even smartphones have declined in popularity, which means that more people are accessing the web through tablets. If you’re a marketer whose content is intended for mobile users, you’ll want to make sure that the platform you choose is responsive and displays well on smaller devices.
Even if you choose the most feature-rich platform available, it will still be useless if it’s not easy to use. Each additional feature can be very powerful, but if the interface is complicated or poorly designed, these features will be useless to you. For example, Marketo provides a ton of features, but if you can’t figure out how to use it effectively, it may as well be a toy. In addition to features, make sure to evaluate how easy it is to actually use the platform. There are plenty of complex platforms out there, but make sure you don’t fall into the trap of choosing one simply because it has a ton of features.
This one might seem obvious, but cost is a major factor to consider. While we’re on the subject of cost, it’s important to look at not just the cost of the platform itself but the additional costs associated with using it. Most platforms, especially the bigger ones, have a free trial or limited-use mode, which means you won’t be wasting any money if you find the platform is not for you. In addition to cost, make sure you consider how much support you’ll need. If you’re not familiar with the terminology, support can be described as the sum total of the services and functions provided by the platform’s staff. For example, Marketo offers both free and pro versions of its product with a dedicated account manager and other resources.
Even if you run a highly secure web host, your site will still be at risk if you don’t take the necessary precautions to keep your personal information secure. The last thing you want to do is choose a platform that doesn’t offer the necessary security options or integrations with other applications. If you’re using a public web host, make sure to lock down your site to only allow authorized access to specific pages through a login or use a secure connection (HTTPS). If you use a private web host, make sure to upgrade to a paid plan that supports TLS security and has a certificate installed to ensure your visitors can feel safe in your presence.
One of the most important factors to consider when choosing an online marketing platform is the degree to which it can be integrated with other applications and systems. The ability to integrate with other applications and services provides multiple benefits. First, it allows you to access all the necessary data in one place. Second, it helps you to have a better idea of the overall performance of your marketing campaigns. Third, it can provide additional functionality, such as the ability to send out mass emails or automated bidding within specific campaigns. Finally, integration allows for greater collaboration between different teams within your organization. For example, if you’re a marketer who also does SEO, having access to the SEO tool within the marketing platform can make your work much easier.
There are numerous platforms for online marketers to choose from, but not all of them are created equal. Make sure to consider all the pros and the cons before making a decision. With so much competition, it’s essential to find a way to stand out from the crowd. Being able to integrate with other applications can help provide the functionality you need while saving you time and effort. In addition to integration, make sure to look for a reliable source for support if you encounter any problems.